Thistledown Studio

Nan Wilson, Artist-Naturalist

I’ve always had an attraction to the Pine Bush. From Rochester I’d make the trek to see the Lupine and their Karner Blues. Then we bought a house right at the trailhead for Blueberry West. I walk it daily and take in the endless flora and fauna subjects.

Some feel they my wildflowers are representational, but one gallery owner called them “surreal”. That quality, like in a trance -- describes how I am when the paint is flowing.

When peering at wildflowers, I had also seen insects up close: mantises, amphibians, lacewings, caterpillars, ants, spiders, butterflies, dragonflies, and peepers. I painted them too , challenging the viewer to take a second look at these critters who had looked back at me so knowingly.

During these early years, I presented my work at Nature Art shows. There someone said of my art: “It’s not just Nature Art, it’s Art"!

Fascinated with the butterflies' life-and-death relationships to plants, I painted four, larger than-life monarch watercolors -- each stage of equal status. Many lifecycles followed.

We bought a house at the Blueberry Hill West trailhead. I could see Lupine and Karners just up the trail.

First comes a splashy, colorful background. This sets the composition and color palette. “Natural history” and “fine art”, come together. Aspects become representational. My art is purchased by entomologists -- it must be scientifically accurate.

As I observed butterflies, dragonflies circled. By painting them larger-than-life I could get people’s respect for these awesome critters who have survived over three hundred million years.



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Photo Station

photo booth
Try our new selfie station on the Karner Barrens blue trail.